We realized that some of Mea’s stomach issues were due to the bacteria that was in her stomach, that came from the water back in Ethiopia. We learned that injera, the bread of Ethiopia, a staple of most dishes, cannot be easily made in America, because of the missing bacteria from the water. So while the bacteria was an important part of their world, it was wreaking havoc in the US.
Just a few weeks after we got home, the doctor diagnosed Mea with giardia. This is not something that American children usually get. Our cat was diagnosed with it, because of drinking dirty water. Here, we learned that it was just a normal result from unfiltered water.
She started on a course of treatment right away that cured much of her tummy issues, but we still thought that she might be allergic to cow’s milk.
So off to the allergist we went. Today, actually, in my Facebook memories, was recorded how Mea had to spend half a day getting blood drawn, and being poked and prodded. My memory reminded me that she had been very patient, considering all the testing that had to be completed.
In the end, the doctor shared two interesting pieces of information. First, she told us that children who are adopted from other countries rarely have allergies like American children get. It was not common to see a lactose allergy, she shared.
Then, she explained that, due to the bacteria Mea had in her system, her stomach lining needed time to heal. After about six months, she predicted, she would be good as new, as the stomach was great at reestablishing healthy bacteria, especially in children.
And she was right! After about six months at home, we were able to give Mea any food she wanted. She’s also extremely healthy – hardly gets sick or is out of school. We were very thankful for such expertise from this doctor.